We had three conceptual goals. We wanted to create a house whose very existence is inspired by a modern and African art collection. It was our intent to appreciate classic modernism. There are no trends, no fashion, no tricks. This house pays homage to modernism’s very roots.
At the outset, our intention was to enhance and develop the interior/exterior relationships. The 10’ high steel and glass curtain wall creates the envelope of the structure without imposing spatial boundaries. The relationship between man and nature is a 1” separation physically and zero visually. The window mullions become delicate picture frames outlining nature beyond. In this house, nature too is a work of art complementing the remaining collection. In this house, nature becomes art. The structure is perched atop a hill overlooking an Atlantic Ocean tributary with natural stone outcroppings defining the perimeter and its wetlands. The glass wall along the northeast elevation provides a stunning view into the treetops creating the sensation of being suspended between the 70’ tall trees. This is a house where moods change by day and night; when the trees are green or bare or covered with snow or softened by fog. This house is a declaration of how beautiful man and nature can be in harmony. Modern architecture and nature are beautiful together.
The primary goal for the interior architecture is to create surroundings that complement and enhance the display of modern art and African sculpture. Our intent is to create a museum quality environment for a museum quality collection, including Miro, Clave, Motherwell, Jenny Lee, Fonseca, Giacometti, Ernst, Noguchi, and Picasso. Special consideration was given to the African sculpture with the use of polished black granite slabs that visually absorb their bases and highlight the shapes with pure white backgrounds. This allows both front lighting for accent and backlighting to emphasize the shape in silhouette. By contrast, white African masks are placed in front of polished black granite slabs that contrast and reflect their backsides. In the living room where there are few walls for display, a 21’ long sandblasted acrylic modular coffee table was created to act as a “canvas” for groupings of special African pieces.